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Announcing The First New Matthew Wayne Selznick Title of 2014

Reading The Amazing Spider-Man Volume OneLet’s get this year started! I’m excited to announce my first new title of 2014: Reading The Amazing Spider-Man Volume One—A Critical Review With Storytelling Lessons From A Writer’s Perspective. (I’ll grant you, the sub-title will probably change.)

About Reading The Amazing Spider-Man Volume One

In the half century since the first issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, the titular character has become one of the central figures in the pantheon of Western culture’s shared modern mythology. Spider-Man, along with his supporting cast and living, open-ended storyworld, represents one of the most enduring—and valuable—creative franchises in history.

Remarkably, nearly every persistent, definitive element of the Spider-Man mythos was established within the first twelve issues of The Amazing Spider-Man.

There’s a lot to be learned from those four-color panels and word balloons!

In Reading The Amazing Spider-Man Volume One, I examine the roots of the franchise through a critical (but very light-hearted) review of each story in the first twelve issues. Along the way, I use elements from each tale to illustrate useful lessons for anyone interested in developing a strong storyworld and creative franchise.

Above all else, there’s a heck of a lot of fun to be had assessing Spider-Man’s early adventures (and Stan Lee’s storytelling style).

Pre-Order Now And Save Three Bucks!

Reading The Amazing Spider-Man Volume One will be released in e-book formats in February of 2014, with a retail price of $7.99.

If you pre-order before Sunday, February 9, your price is just $4.99. There’s no risk, either, since I won’t actually take your money until the book is released!

Use the following links to place your order:

A Sample of Reading The Amazing Spider-Man Volume One

To give you a little taste of the tone and flavor of the book, here are some excerpts:

Doctor Doom, in another disposable hide-out, creates “an instrument which will react to a spider’s impulses” in order to track down Spider-Man. Seems like he’s going to get a lot of false positives unless he creates an instrument to react to Spider-Man’s impulses. not every freakin’ spider in the city, but, hey, whatever.

In the Florida Everglades, four men encounter a giant talking lizard that “walks like a man!” It also wears a spotless white lab coat, stylish black tee shirt and purple slacks… but I guess those are the kinds of things you’d notice only after you got over that whole business of it walking and talking like a man. This creature refers to itself repeatedly in the third person, so we know that it calls itself (conveniently) the Lizard, and that “this swamp is mine!”

For “months,” the Vulture is a model prisoner. He’s so well behaved, the warden lets him use the prison machine shop. Now, I’m no correctional facility management expert, but I’m betting that giving a formerly flying jewel thief who is obviously pretty damn good with machines the run of the prison machine shop isn’t going to get the warden any points with the governor, because what do you think happens next?

There’s something else about the Spider-Man / Doctor Octopus relationship: they are very similar. Both are brilliant. Both become arrogant and self-important when they first receive their powers in a traumatic, life-altering event… but Peter Parker eventually grows beyond that childish attitude. Spider-Man is just a few degrees away from being Doctor Octopus… Otto Octavious is a mirror, a real antagonist and opposite number. He won’t be the only (or, arguably, worst) brilliant villain Spider-Man is plagued by, but he might just be the best example Peter Parker has of “there, but for the grace of god, go I.” The Powers That Be at Marvel would invert this in a very risky way, fifty years later…

Sound like fun to you? Get your discounted pre-order done right now:

Reading The Amazing Spider-Man Volume One has been a real labor of love of mine for some time. I can’t wait until it’s out in the world. I hope you love it!

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